SUU Gymnastics claimed its tenth academic national championship since 1993 as the team finished with a combined grade point average of 3.8923 to earn the award for the 2009-10 season. The T-Birds finished ahead of their academic rival, Southeast Missouri State, which finished with an overall GPA of 3.8905.
"I'm proud of our girls for having worked so hard in the classroom," head coach Scott Bauman said. "We hold our gymnasts to a high standard when it comes to academics and when we compete and our girls did a great job at both last season."
Ari Lamb, Caitlin Kennedy, Elise Wheeler and Melissa Johnson led the way for the T-Birds with perfect 4.00 GPA's during the year. However, the numbers did not drop sharply from there as Bailey Baker (3.97), Brooke Cersosimo (3.97), Shannon Coughlin (3.91), Lauren Jeffrey (3.92) and Anna Schumacher (3.99) narrowly missed perfect marks. In all, SUU had 12 gymnast with at least a 3.60 or better during the 2009-10 academic year.
Wisconsin-Lacrosse (3.6600), Western Michigan (3.6323) and Michigan State (3.6194) rounded out the top five as Southern Utah also finished ahead of in-state rivals Utah (3.4985, 9th), Utah State (3.2921, 39th) and Brigham Young (2.9576, 66th).
Southern Utah is slated to begin the 2011 season at Utah State on January 7 with the home opener against reigning national champion UCLA set for January 14.